French student detained during Gezi protests appeals deportation decision
Elisa Couvert was deported after being detained by police during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul on June 11. DHA photoA 24-year-old French student, who was deported after being detained by police during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul on June 11, said she appealed for the cancellation of the deportation decision following her acquittal of charges.
The deportation was not based on any written justification, Elisa Couvert told daily Hürriyet, and is now void, since the prosecutor acquitted her of the charges before releasing her.
Couvert was detained June 11 while she took refuge in a nearby Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) branch during police intervention in Taksim, claiming she knew nothing of the party, or of the building, before she took shelter there. There were about thirty people inside the SDP building who had escaped from tear gas.
Couvert claimed some of the detained were abused verbally and physically by the police officers on the way to the Çağlayan courthouse. She remained in custody for four days, where she was questioned on her relation to the SDP, and accused of being a French spy. She was asked to give a detailed account of her life in Turkey, including the thesis she was currently writing, and was treated “as a terrorist” despite entering the building simply by chance.
“It is difficult to understand why a political party would be treated as such,” Couvert said.
Couvert stayed in an official guesthouse for “ten horrible days,” according to her account of the events. Her residency permit was cancelled, and she was soon deported, without any official statement provided.
She is also banned from entering the country for another year, daily Hurriyet reported.
Couvert studied at Galatasaray Üniversity two years ago as part of the Erasmus exchange program, and had been writing a thesis on “Kurds who learn Kurdish later” for her master’s at Paris’s VIII University. Couvert said she had been involved with the Human Rights Association as well.
Her thesis has to be submitted October, Couvert told daily Hurriyet.
“I was also attending driving lessons, which were interrupted. We filed three different lawsuits to administrative courts both in Ankara and in Istanbul, as well as in the Constitutional Court.